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Know your (digital) rights

Unlock your protected media files with this simple tool.

Digital Rights Management, or DRM, is technology designed to prevent unauthorized use of copyrighted and licensed material, such as music, video, and software, which makes it a good thing. Unfortunately, it sometimes means you can't use stuff you bought and paid for because the DRM protection lingers long after, say, you've changed providers, upgraded software, or migrated machines. DRM issues lurk in many places. A DRM removal tool is what you need, something like DRM Removal, a cleverly named utility that strips DRM protection and converts your protected files to more user-friendly formats. You can use it to convert iTunes files to unprotected MP3s and WMAs that will play in media players lacking the AAC codec. It will also convert Napster files, protected MP4 video files, and more. It includes a CD ripper, too.

The program's media player-style interface features a startling green-and-black skin that we hope is easy to change in the full version. Nevertheless, it's extremely easy to use, with drag-and-drop functionality. It has typical options, such as the ability to set the conversion speed for high sound quality or for quick conversions, as would be used with batch files. It converts files quickly and competently, which is what's most important.

DRM Removal requires Windows Media Player 9 or higher. It's limited to a 30-day trial period, and it installs a desktop icon without your say-so. It's Windows 7 certified, which might come in handy if you're upgrading your OS or migrating files and new conflicts render some of your media files unplayable.

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